First Flight For British Single-Seater
A British company has designed and flown a new airplane, the e-Go, powered by a Rotron wankel rotary engine. The design fits into the Single Seat De-Regulated class, established by the UK in 2007, which is similar to the U.S. ultralight class. The e-Go flew for the first time last week, completing several test flights and a demo flight for supporters and the press. With a top speed of 135 knots, the airplane is too fast to qualify as an ultralight in the U.S., but the developers are taking deposits for copies in the UK. It sells for about $80,000. They also plan to develop an experimental kit version and an LSA for the U.S. market. "We set out to design a fun flying machine," company founder Tony Bishop told the BBC. "It's lighter and faster and more fun to fly, we think, than anything that's out there."
The lightweight, custom-designed Rotron engine is one of a "new breed of wankels," according to the company website, and is "proving to be very smooth and reliable." The engine, together with very low drag, delivers about 70 mpg, for a range of 330 nm. The single-seat cockpit is designed to accommodate "a 99th percentile US Army guy," according to the website. "Thatís 6 feet 4 inches and 220 lbs. The height allows for a headset. And the hip width is 17.8 inches Ö So even you McDonald's lovers should fit." The e-Go can operate out of a 1,000-foot grass strip, and is equipped with an MGL electronic flight instrument system.